The Not-So-Creepy Reason More Bosses Are Tracking Employees

Social-media platforms like Facebook and Twitter aren't the only ones tracking how people connect and share with their peers. Employers are doing it too.

Companies like Boston Consulting Group, and Microsoft Corp. are mining employees' emails, chat logs, and tracking face-to-face interactions to get a better grasp on how information travels among employees. 

The goal, managers said, is to cut down on time-consuming meetings, vague emails and useless training sessions. While some bosses already use apps to gauge productivity and employee performance, management researchers say new technologies like sensor-laden ID badges and programs that analyze online calendars offer a better measure of how efficiently teams communicate and how well they collaborate without overtaxing one another's time.

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'La La Land' composer on electronica's key role in the film

Justin Hurwitz reveals why a story stuck in the past needed technology to push it forward.

Damien Chazelle's La La Land might not have won thatOscar, but it did scoop up the one for Best Original Music Score. The man behind that score is Justin Hurwitz. Anyone who has seen the film will know that the soundtrack is largely divided between vintage Hollywood music and classic jazz -- the style favored by tortured musician Seb (Ryan Gosling). But for all of its antiquity, one of the biggest conflicts of the movie is Seb's struggle with pop success after joining his friend Keith (John Legend) in a band that fuses jazz flavors with modern electronic music. Hurwitz's challenge, then, was not only to score the movie but also to create a musical backdrop to Seb's journey of self-discovery, a journey that ultimately proves to be a crucial fork in the movie's twisting story.

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This Startup Wants to Bring Augmented Reality to the iPhone Before Apple Does

Apple may have up to 1000 engineers working on augmented reality, if estimates from UBS analyst Steven Milunovich are correct. San Francisco-based computer vision startup Occipitalis comparably scrappy. But the company nonetheless believes it can beat Apple to market, and is now gearing up to sell an augmented reality (AR) headset for Apple’s iPhone next month.

Bridge, as the headset is being called combines recent-generation iPhones with a Gear VR-like headset and a depth sensor capable of scanning rooms and incorporating real-world obstacles into mixed-reality applications.

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These Are the 50 Most Promising Startups You’ve Never Heard Of: Notion (Loop Labs)

There are a few early clues that a startup will be successful, according to market researcher Quid: Have the company’s founders worked together before? Is the business in a hot sector, one where many other new startups are also focusing? Has it raised funding at a quick pace? Based on those criteria and others, Quid looked at more than 50,000 companies and chose 50 it deemed the most promising.

While venture capitalists often try to assess startups’ potential one by one—at the moment they hear a pitch—some market researchers such as Quid are trying to crunch data on tens of thousands of startups to come up with their own set of best bets. This isn’t Quid’s first attempt to do this: In 2009, Businessweek asked Quid, then named YouNoodle, to pull together a list of 50 promising startups that were flying under the radar. Almost eight years later, it turns out that the list had its share of flops—companies that shut down or lost value—but some notable home runs as well. Cloudera, Palantir, Evernote, Twitch and Spotify all increased at least 30 times in value since 2009. If YouNoodle’s list had been a venture portfolio, it would have been one of the best-performing funds of the last two decades. So we asked Quid’s chief executive officer, Bob Goodson, to make a new list.

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Integrated vision sensing for robotics and AR/VR/MR headsets

Occipital (San Francisco), and Inuitive (Ra’anana, Israel) are collaborating on a complete hardware and software solution that brings efficient room-scale sensing and SLAM (simultaneous localization and mapping) to next generation mixed reality, augmented reality and virtual reality (MR/AR/VR) headsets; and to robotics.

The joint offering will, the two companies say, enable manufacturers of AR/VR/MR headsets and home/industrial robots to integrate efficient, low-latency 3D sensing and SLAM into their products. The solution merges Occipital’s Structure Core embeddable depth sensor with Inuitive’s NU3000 depth processing chip. 

The combination of Structure Core and NU3000 is designed for use in the new generation of home & industrial robots as well as headsets. In particular, Structure Core’s dual infrared cameras can be used for stereo depth sensing when ambient sunlight would otherwise blind robotic navigation systems that rely on time-of-flight or structured light depth sensors.

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